Monday Melody: Pretty Pimpin’ (Kurt Vile)

monday_melody

The Monday Melodies are intended to pay homage to songs I like from the past, but I’d like to make an exception this week and include a new song. Lately I’ve been hearing some good and interesting indie rock and pop on a local radio station that doesn’t play the usual Top 40 hits.

Kurt Vile‘s “Pretty Pimpin'” is musical crack. His style is like a cross between Tom Petty (who he names as one of his influences) and ’90’s alternative such as Beck. The video features Kurt, appearing disheveled and either confused, high, or severely dissociated, possibly in a fugue state. The lyrics describe what sounds like a very unpleasant dissociative experience, in which the protagonist looks in the mirror and doesn’t recognize himself. Yet Kurt’s delivery is oddly unemotional and disconnected, as if he’s describing the experience of someone else, which is exactly what dissociation feels like.

I’d like to include this comment from the lyrics page, which I think nails the meaning of the song:

The song’s narrator likely suffers from Depersonalization Disorder, a dissociative mental disorder in which one feels disconnected or estranged from one’s body, thoughts and emotion.

The song uses subtle changes in its repeating verses, progressing through different manifestations of this disorder. As the narrator interacts with himself in the mirror, he begins with the first person pronoun “I” and later moving toward more uses of the third-person “he.”

The upbeat song ends with a gradual fade-out, which you don’t hear much anymore in modern music.

I woke up this morning
Didn’t recognize the man in the mirror
Then I laughed and I said, “Oh silly me, that’s just me”
Then I proceeded to brush some stranger’s teeth
But they were my teeth, and I was weightless
Just quivering like some leaf come in the window of a restroom

I couldn’t tell you what the hell it was supposed to mean
But it was a Monday, no a Tuesday, no Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Then Saturday came around and I said “Who’s this stupid clown blocking the bathroom sink?”

All he ever wanted was to be someone in life that was just like
All I want is to just have fun
Live my life like a son of a gun
I could be one thousand miles away but still mean what I say

Then I woke up one morning
Didn’t recognize the man in the mirror
Then I laughed and I said, “Oh silly me, that’s just me”
Then I proceeded to not comb some stranger’s hair
Never was my style

But I couldn’t tell you what the hell it was supposed to mean
Because it was a Monday, no a Tuesday, no Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Then Saturday came around and I said “Who’s this stupid clown blocking the bathroom sink?”
But he was sporting all my clothes
I gotta say I’m pretty pimpin

All he ever wanted was to be a man
But he was always a little too cute to be admitted under “marbles lost”
He was always a thousand miles away while still standing in front of your face

Then he woke up this morning
Didn’t recognize the boy in the mirror
Then laughed and said, “Oh silly me, that’s just me”
Then I proceeded to brush some stranger’s teeth
But they were my teeth, and I was weightless
Just quivering like some leaf come in the window of a restroom

And I couldn’t tell you what the hell it was supposed to mean
Cause it was a Monday, no a Tuesday, no Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Then Saturday came around and I said, “Who’s this stupid clown blocking the bathroom sink?”
But he was sporting all my clothes
I gotta say pretty pimpin

I woke up this morning, didn’t recognize the boy in the mirror [x6]

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About luckyotter

Recovering from BPD and C-PTSD due to narcissistic abuse from childhood. Married to a sociopath for 20 years. Proud INFJ, Enneagram type 4w5. Animal lover, music lover, cat mom, unapologetic geek, fan of the absurd, progressive Catholic, mom to 2, mental illness stigma activist, anti-Trumper. #RESISTANCE
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